Flying Helmets

Discussion in 'Horse Racing' started by Bustino74, Mar 29, 2016.

  1. Bustino74

    Bustino74 Thouroughbred Breed Enthusiast

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    Mark Johnston has come explosively out of the 2yo traps this year, much as he did last year. He had the first 2yo winner on Friday and followed that up with 2 winners on Saturday. So three 2yo races in the UK and all three won by the Middleham stable.
    Equally remarkable has been that the two winners at Kempton on Saturday were by the same sire. It gets even more surprising that that sire is a first season sire and his name is HELMET.

    A few words on this forum has had a few new sires mentioned with Frankel being top of the list. Helmet was mentioned as a new sire but never picked up as being a contender for First Season Sire champion: I'm sure he was considered an also ran against the likes of Frankel, Harbour Watch, Power and Sir Prancealot. It is of course stupid to announce victory at this point but I can tell you for a FSS to get a winner this early is surprising but to get two is almost unknown. Not only that but the manner of their victories made one sit up and take notice.

    I'll leave Cyc to tell us more about Helmet as he's an Aussie import. I'll just say he was a damn good 3yo winning 3 Group 1s and staying 8f without problems. He was also a pretty good 2yo winning 3 out of 4 starts over 6f.

    His first winner was the filly Boater. She started awkwardly but soon asserted herself and came home clear by 7 lengths. In the next race her stablemate Chupalla started better and she won comfortably by 6 lengths. Unsurprisingly Helmet is from the Danehill line being a son of the excellent Aussie champion Exceed and Excel. His dam (by Singspiel) and grandam (by Mill Reef) were both unraced. Going back a generation more you get Anna Paola who just happened to be the champion German filly of her generation and it is fascinating to see that she was purchased by Sheikh Mohammed and sent to Mill Reef, apeing the thinking of the late Leslie Harrison who bought tough German mares for the Plantation Stud and sent them to Mill Reef line sires: the results were Slip Anchor, Fame and Glory and Legatissimo. From then on it's a German line for several generations and these German lines are tough.

    These two winners may not be champions but they should definitely improve and stay further. Both appeared grown women amongst girls on Saturday and given the new 2yo programme could have a string of wins against their names by early Summer.

    Keep an eye on the first Johnston 2yo winner though: Sutter County (also owned by Sheikh Hamadan as are the two above) won by 9 lengths and looked to have even more scope than the above.
     
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    Last edited: Mar 29, 2016
  2. OddDog

    OddDog Mild mannered janitor
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    Nice article, it will be very interesting to see how his progeny perform over the coming weeks. Any idea when the next one is running?
     
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  3. Bustino74

    Bustino74 Thouroughbred Breed Enthusiast

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    Difficult to say Oddy. The only race you can look at now is next Saturday's Brocklesby Stakes in which Johnston has Sutter County entered (he'll carry a penalty if he runs). There are no Helmets in the field. I'll keep an eye open for them.

    He apparently had 79 living foals in his first crop and it is difficult to say how many ended up in training. His yearlings didn't do too badly at the Autumn sales last year, with an average price of about 36,000gns for 57 sold yearlings: a reasonable return on a covering fee of £8000. But if I start looking for them I find Johnston has just those 2 while Hannon has 3 and Haggas and C Hills have one each (from a quick skip through Horses in Training). They must be somewhere. If anyone bought these yearlings and then have them at the Breeze Up sales they must have been delighted with Saturday's shop window.

    What will be interesting is if someone calls their colt Royston Vasey, or if a brown 2yo then Chubby Brown.
     
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  4. Bustino74

    Bustino74 Thouroughbred Breed Enthusiast

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    Just looked it up and there are 8 Helmets in the Newmarket Breeze Up sales, 11-13th April.

    When talking about the horses to emanate from the Plantation Stud Mill Reef/ German experiment I've changed 'and others' to Legatissimo in the original article.
     
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  5. Cyclonic

    Cyclonic Well Hung Member

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    Helmut was a lovely youngster. Darley had the best two babies in 2011, Sepoy who took out the Golden Slipper and Helmut who won the other two legs of the triple crown, the Sires Produce and the Champagne Stakes. His trainer Peter Snowden had a huge opinion of the big, robust colt.

     
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  6. NassauBoard

    NassauBoard Well-Known Member

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    Plenty entered up in early closer races (attached) sold well too looking at the RP sire page.
     

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  7. Bustino74

    Bustino74 Thouroughbred Breed Enthusiast

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    Amazing race. He looked awkward at several points during the race yet had the beating of them.
     
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  8. Cyclonic

    Cyclonic Well Hung Member

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    It doesn't surprise me at all that he's throwing precocious types.
     
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  9. Cyclonic

    Cyclonic Well Hung Member

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  10. Janabelle13

    Janabelle13 Well-Known Member

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    Will be interesting to see how another Darley Aussie 1st season shuttler sire does - ie Sepoy (he's a really bonny chestnut)
     
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  11. Bustino74

    Bustino74 Thouroughbred Breed Enthusiast

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    You are right Janabelle and Sepoy seems more popular with the leading trainers.

    Nice to see some chestnuts too
     
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  12. PNkt

    PNkt Well-Known Member

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    Helmet has indeed got off to a great start.

    The EBN are running a series on all first-season sires at the moment, I will start a separate thread and put up their info.
     
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  13. Ron

    Ron Well-Known Member
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